11.09.16. L.O.S. Field Trip

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It was good to be invited to guide a walk for Leigh Ornithological Society’s September field trip to Frodsham Marsh today. After a brief introduction we headed along Brook Furlong Lane aiming to look over the River Weaver by Redwall reed bed. There wasn’t much activity on the water with the freshening breeze forcing the birds to loiter alongside the marshy edges on the Weaver estuary.

11-09-16-sickly-fox-no-1-tank-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-6After a slight change in the direction of our walk we headed off along Alder Lane to watch the pipes across No.1 tank. The expected Wheatear was found eventually hiding between the pipes and was soon followed by another bird. A Fox was out in the fields but didn’t look too well it had gooey-eyes and looked quite sickly…erm?11-09-16-hobby-over-no-2-tank-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-6

11-09-16-hobby-over-no-2-tank-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-9A couple of adult Hobby hawking over the thistle beds were presumably feeding on something but we couldn’t see exactly what they were catching? These birds performed for all the time we were watching including the time it took us to the mitigation 40 minutes later. Also present was the pale phase Common Buzzard that has been in the area for a couple of years now, There were two Sparrowhawk, a kettle of 6 Buzzard, 6 Kestrel and from No.4 tank emerged the juvenile Marsh Harrier. It would have been a six raptor day if the Peregrine had taken up her usual perch on the blue-topped chimney.

The Raven flock were gathered over the embankment overlooking Frodsham Score and took great pleasure in harassing any bird of prey that flew by including the local Kestrels.

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11-09-16-leigh-ornithological-society-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-4img_7821The open water of No.6 tank still had the same ducks as yesterday but the bright sunshine made viewing A lone Ruff was sat with a group of dozing Teal on the muddy edges.

Other birds of note were 8 Yellow Wagtail and pockets of hirudines heading south.

In the warm sunshine there were plenty of butterflies and dragonflies out on the wing which included: Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Painted Lady being the most proficient while Common Darter and Migrant Hawker were noted.

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11-09-16-miles-walked-with-l-o-s-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-1A walk around the perimeter of No.6 tank included more Yellow Wagtail and a huge bed of teasel which should be keeping the Goldfinch flocks happy over the next few months.

Today we covered 8.7 miles according to John’s workout details on his mobile phone.

Observers: Steve Scrimgeour and Leigh Ornithological Societyimage 5 by Martin Loftus, WSM (images 1-4 & 6-9). Image

Other birds of interest included: Female and juvenile Marsh Harrier, 13 Ruff and a Little Egret.

Observer: Alyn Chambers.